It was not without a little trepidation that we made our way to the ramp with the easing wind finally allowing us to get onto the water and give the impressive Streaker 5700 Commander a run.
By easing conditions I mean the wind had dropped from 30knots down to a manageable 15-20knots and the chop in the bay had eased from a back breaking 2.5-3m down to 1-1.5m, Yep, these conditions would be sensational for testing out a boat made to fish open water, but maybe not so impressive for trying to take good photography.
We met Paul and Sean Savage at the ramp and after we all looked wonderingly at the dark grey and black skies, we bit the bullet and launched the 5700 Commander. On the trailer, with brand new graphics over the sides, the Commander struck an imposing image. On first glance you would happily see this boat launching at any of the offshore ramps and being put into use chasing marlin, tuna, sharks, kingies and other offshore beasts. I have to say I was looking forward to seeing how this rig handled the washing machine that the bay had turned into.
A rig this large needs to be fitted properly with a trailer to suit. And this is not just for launch and retrieve but also for long hours of towing. Luckily the team at Streaker Boats has mantra to make boating easy and they actively pursue the right way to make boating easy and this was evident in their choice of trailer.
All Streaker boats are now matched to an Easytow custom trailer. In the case of the 5700 Commander an Easytow Tandem Drive-On Trailer with alloy wheels, disc brakes, LED lights and a broad mesh walkway was the choice. Launching effortlessly, the fully rollered Easytow performed its job with aplomb. Towing is easy too with this trailer and a large SUV or almost any 4WD will have you getting to or from the water in comfort and with ease.
The 5700 Commander is decked out to appeal to the keenest of offshore and bay anglers. At 5.7m long and with a very impressive beam of 2.49m, the Commander certainly does not lack for space. And this directly translates into lots of room to fish two anglers with ease and 4 anglers in relative comfort. And just think about that for a while. Four anglers take up a lot of room and the working space behind the cockpit is large enough to allow these anglers to do what they need to do.
The skipper’s and first mate’s seat also fully swivel giving the lazier angler a chance to rest his or her legs while they wait out for a bite. And just here is a good time to point out that it is the little things that Streaker do to their boats that make them so good. Seats that fully swivel should never, ever hit the gunwales and the Streaker seats don’t. I can’t stand swivel seats that you can’t swivel without hitting things. That makes no sense to me at all and it was with real joy that I discovered this little piece of attention to detail that typifies Streaker Boats.
The cockpit area is centred around a large dash that can handle a lot of electronics. Streaker’s are factory fitted with Lowrance units and there is enough range and diversity within the Lowrance range that you can the sounder you want. The 5700 Commander comes standard with the popular Lowrance HDS7 colour sounder/GPS combo unit and this will have you finding all the fish you need in the bays and discovering hidden bait schools when you’re offshore trolling for pelagics. The skipper’s seat not only swivels, but it can also move forards or backwards to allow different sized skipper’s to operate the instruments with ease. Set in the middle I found all the controls came easily to hand and working through the sounder settings was easy from a seated position. Of course you can also stand and drive this rig and when conditions are a little interesting, this may well be the best way to go and there is enough room to do this underneath the custom covers and windscreen.
Up forward the cabin has seating to the sides with enough head room for someone to take a break from the elements. There is also a large hatch to access the anchor well, however the 5700 Commander is fitted with a Stress Free anchor winch to make setting and retrieving the anchor a very simple task. In fact Paul Savage said they adjusted the bow to accommodate the Stress Free anchor winch and again shows that the team is keen to ensure their boats are made right and are easy to use.
Above the bimini top was a very well finished stainless steel rod holder that also sported two LED spotlights and the anchor light. Additionally there was a very cleverly designed bimini rest pole incorporated into the whole structure. This was designed to take the weight of the bimini when it is folded down for storage and is in one word brilliant. This simple addition ensures that when the boat is stored the height on trailer is a manageable 2.15m and the bimini or the hull is never stressed out by the bimini swinging all over the place or the connections taking the entire weight of the bimini. Very clever idea.
At the transom there is more to delight anglers with a choice of two bait boards, a straight legged bait board or an offset legged bait board. I would prefer the fitted offset leg bait board as it frees up space in the working area. The bait boards are made by Streaker and are designed so that the fitted outboard can use its entire trim and tilt range, regardless of the bait board chosen. That’s not always the case and a lot of outboard manufacturers have had to solve this problem by building into the outboards a way to restrict the trim and tilt to avoid nasty cowl damage. Streaker has solved this problem independently by simply manufacturing and designing the bait board right from the start.
On the transom you find two well-designed rocket launchers that give you an excellent directional spread for your outfits. Rocket launchers are commonly an after market accessory that is fitted to the boat, but not with the Commander 5700. As it’s designed for anglers, these rocket launchers are part of the standard package. To the starboard side of the transom is a fully plumbed livewell. This is large enough to take a day’s worth of slimeys or yakkas and, even with the rocket launchers in place, the livewell is easy to access and the opening and closing of the lid is not in any way hindered. There is also a viewing port so you can maintain an eye on the health of your baits. And lastly the starboard transom houses the berley pot, within easy reach for the angler designated as the berley masher on the day.
To the port side there is a transom door with fibreglass boarding platforms and a stainless steel boarding ladder. This opens this boat up to much more than simply rod and reel fishing. Snorkelling or diving become options as do tow sports and the Commander would eat up any of these other uses with ease.
Inside the gunwales on both port and starboard side are rod storage racks and side pockets. A lot of accessory gear and spare tackle will be stored in these and the port side also houses the deck wash. On the port side there are alos a further four upright rod holders that will allow you to store even more rods, not that you would need to, but it’s nice to know you can.
The working area floor houses a wet well between the skipper’s and first mate’s seats and also another storage area directly under the transom. In between these two areas is the 146L fuel tank, a massive amount of fuel given the fuel economy of the suitable Yamaha or Mercury outboard you can choose to fit.
Mercury 125 Optimax
The test Commander was fitted with the brilliant 125hp Optimax. This outboard is sensational and really gave this big rig a lot of punch. Fitted with a stainless prop the Commander got onto the plane very easily in messy water and maintained an easy cruising speed across the chop.
While we had no chance to test top end speed and even less chance to test speed at RPM, the boat just felt right with the 125hp Opti on the back. You can go up to a 150hp outboard if you want, but I am not sure you’d have to other than to have those extra horses in reserve if and when ou needed them.
Talking to Sean after we got back into the shelter of the river, he let me know that this rig, as set up on the test day will give a top end speed around the 40 knot mark. Now that’s pretty impressive for such a big boat and it’s unlikely you’d be pushing the boat that hard on any but the calmest of days on the offshore grounds. Still, this does give you an indication of what the Commander is capable of with the 125ho Optimax strapped to its transom.
All in all it was a well set up package and I enjoyed my time in it bashing around the bat.
Given that the conditions were pretty average it gave us a great chance to really test out the hull’s performance in conditions that were far from ideal.
Firstly the ability to get up and going, wether with or ito the sea, was fantastic. You never felt under gunned and at risk of being swamped. As the boat got up on the plane very easily, you could manipulate the trim and speed to really make the 1m chop a breeze to handle. It’s still surprising to me as I head over a larger than usual wave the way a good hull lets you down gently and does not jam your spine through your skull. During our time in the boat there was plenty of opportunity for bone jarring, but with some great skippering and a hull that is very forgiving and easy to control, we didn’t experience that teeth rattling slam we all hate.
Spray was always going to be a problem on a day like this and I am glad to say that most of the spray was pushed aside very well. Running with or into the swells made little difference as the hull did its work and made sure the occupanmts stayed dry and comfortable. To give a better indication of this, the front clears never got spray on them while we were on the water with only a few drops making their mark on the side clears. I have to say the camera was safely packed in its waterproof case as we went for a spin, and after we finished having a play, the case, which was sitting behind the passenger seat on the floor, only had a couple of spots of water on it. Dry is a great way to describe the Commander 5700.
Cornering in the messy chop was great too. We never got the rig to cavitate and it never felt like we were leaning a long way over in corners. In fact it felt like the Commander and Mercury maintained the on plane status as we cornered to port and starboard. It really was quite an impressive display.
It’s hard for me not to say nice things about the 5700 Commander from Streaker. It was one of the worst days that I have had to test a boat in, yet I came back to port positively beaming about the boat, dry and not sore in the slightest.
In the working area there is plenty of room to fish while the small details have all been taken care of by Streaker. Things like a recessed fire extinguisher area, attention to detail like a small boarding plate on each side of the craft, little raised footrests for the skipper and first mate, custom made seat boxes with tackle tray and general storage, lockable glove box, seats that were brilliantly comfortable and more. The Commander simply felt like it was finished and that’s great as Streaker sell these rigs as a turn key package that is easy to use.
When you read the fact box about Streaker Boats, you’ll understand just a little bit more why I say these boats feel finished and it is totally due to the team at Streaker that you can feel confident you are stepping into a boat that is absolutely ready to go.
As tested the Streaker 5700 Commander will be on sale at the Melbourne Boat Show for $67,850. This is a boat show only price so make sure you drop in and check out this amazing rig at the Melbourne Boat Show and discover for yourself why I think the 5700 Commander is a great boat.
|Hull Length (Inc. Bow Sprit)||5.70m|
|Average Height (To Top of Windscreen)||2.15m|
|Total Length (Inc. Trailer & Motor)||7.10m (approx)|
|Approx. Towing Weight (B.M.T.)||1400-1600kgs|
|Max Horsepower - 2 Stroke||150hp|
|Max Horsepower - 4 Stroke||150hp|
|Load Capacity||6 Adults|